I guess it's strange to start a birthstone blog half way through the year, but hey! That's how I work.🤷♀️ Things pop into my head and I have to run with it. So this is the first in the series of birthstones. I'm exploring the gemstones, the history and the properties of birthstones.
For those born in July, your Ruby birthstone is one of the most coveted. The name comes from the Latin ruber, meaning “red” Colour of love and passion. ❤ Ruby is also given for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
Ruby comes from the mineral corundum, and gets its colour from traces of the element chromium. The more chromium, the deeper the red.
Ruby was considered the king of stones in ancient India, because of its hardness (second after diamond), and mystical powers. Associated with the life force blood, it was a symbol of power and energy in Indian jewellery.
Over the centuries, people believed this birthstone for July could predict danger, and others said it could soothe anger. The ruby's inner glow was thought to come from an internal flame that could never be extinguished, making it symbolic of everlasting love. It's this property that has made ruby a perfect choice for engagement rings and special gifts of jewellery.
In Burma (now called Myanmar), warriors believed rubies made them invincible in battle. However, it wasn't enough to just wear the rubies. They had to put them in their flesh and make them part of their bodies! 😯
Most people believed all red gemstones were rubies, when in fact they could have been red Spinel. The GIA called this gemstone "the great imposter" and for good reason! Some of history's most famous rubies, like the black prince ruby, set in the crown, jewels happens to be a red spinel! 😯
Rubies are actually rarer than diamonds and even sapphires. This rarity makes them quite expensive. In 2015, a ruby known as the Sunrise Ruby became the most expensive ruby in the world after selling for $30.42 million.
Rubies are stunning, but are they out-of-this-world beautiful? That's what people of the past believed. Rubies were historically associated with the planet Mars, with some people even believed that rubies were actually sparks struck from the planet that fell to Earth, and that their fire will last until "the world itself grows cold." As author Sarah Kynes wrote in Gemstone Feng Shui, the ancient Romans believed the ruby to be the stone of Mars, the god of war.
The real origins of the ruby are far less mystical but no less fascinating. Most of the world's rubies are found along an 1,800-mile stretch from Tajikistan to Vietnam. The generally accepted, though unproven, theory supported by most geologists is that these rubies were created millions of years ago when the Asian continent and the Indian subcontinent collided, forming the beautiful Himalayas as well as these beautiful gems.
SO WHERE ARE RUBIES FOUND?
You've heard of Burmese Rubies? Well that's where the best quality Rubies have come from! Now known as Myanmar. For over 500 years, the Mogok area in Myanmar has produced some of the most sought-after rubies – vibrant red and beautiful 💎
Mozambique is a new source for the July birthstone. Home to the prolific mines at Montepuez. Rubies found there have been compared to the famed gems of Mogok.
Other producers of the Ruby include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar.
Rubies are often heat treated to remove purple coloration, to leave a purer red. It's acceptable in the trade as it's stable under normal wear and care. Created or lab-grown rubies are made through a process that usually involves high temperature and pressure. From a chemical standpoint, lab-created rubies are no different from natural ones and are considered real rubies, plus they are more affordable.
If your budget just doesn't stretch to a genuine ruby, then cubic zirconia makes a nice alternative. Check out our range of sterling silver birthstones and cz, we also have them in 9ct and created ruby.
Check out our online catalogue ❤